We've been there. We've been through "the darkness" of FAFSA and trying to figure out student aid and student loans at our house. We are not alone. And I'm glad we don't have to deal with that any more. (I still think we paid enough to Michigan State to be awarded free football and basketball season tickets) But we're lucky - it's a real problem for a lot of families.

According to USAToday, the issue is getting worse. When it comes to trying to ease the pain of getting student aid and student loans for their kids, some parents are going to extreme lengths. To get more student aid, some parents have contemplated getting divorces (only one parent's income would be considered in the financial aid calculation), getting their kid married (making them legally and financially independent of their parents) and even giving up legal custody of their children, so their kids would appear to be more financially needy. Crazy, huh? The U.S. Senate is looking at ways to make the FAFSA simpler to file, but that doesn't reduce the extremely high cost of college.

Of course, you could go the Hollywood route and get your kids make-believe athletic scholarships. But then, you might end up in prison. Which would mean hardship for your family and your income being stripped away - paving the way for FOR MORE STUDENT AID! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?!

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